[ASC-media] Qld Chief Scientist: Opportunities for tropical science

Steinberg Jason Jason.Steinberg at iie.qld.gov.au
Mon Apr 19 08:58:51 EST 2004


Monday 19 April 2004

Townsville has great opportunities for tropical science

Townsville could play a major role in Australia's push to achieve global
recognition in tropical science according to Queensland Chief Scientist
Professor Peter Andrews.

Professor Peter Andrews, who is in Townsville on Monday to launch North
Queensland's Innovation and Technology Week, is currently gathering
information on opportunities for the State to capitalise on its tropical
science advantages.

"North Queensland has some unique advantages, its biodiversity and
tropical location for example, and Townsville has an especially
important role to play here," Professor Andrews said.

"The key factor for North Queensland is translating the findings of our
scientists and researchers into real outcomes. These might be economic
(eg creating jobs), social (e.g. longer, healthier lives through better
disease prevention, detection and control) or environmental (e.g. land
rehabilitation techniques or improved coral reef management)."

Professor Andrews, who was appointed as Queensland's first Chief
Scientist in December 2003, has been involved with Townsville's tropical
science industry since 1988 in his roles as council member and Chairman
of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), a director of
Toxitech Pty Ltd and the Commonwealth visitor to the CRC Reef.

"Townsville has great potential to use its research and development
strengths to make major contributions to achieve lasting competitiveness
for the State's new industries like biotechnology, but also our existing
industries like agriculture, mining and tourism," he said.

"The potential benefits to Townsville from a clear commitment to
innovation will be substantial." 

Professor Andrews's visit to Townsville is his first regional trip as
Queensland Chief Scientist and he will be meeting with representatives
from North Queensland's science, academic community, as well as business
and industry leaders to discuss their role in a new tropical science

"Queensland is now part of a cooperative framework with the Northern
Territory and Western Australia on tropical science, knowledge and
innovation that was signed by state and territory Premiers in Darwin
last month," he said.

"The framework will target areas such as tropical agriculture,
horticulture, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, animal health and
environmental management.

"I'm keen to get an update on the scientific work being conducted at
James Cook University, AIMS and a number of Cooperative Research Centres
to see how Townsville can play a part in the framework.

"I am also meeting with business and industry representatives to find
ways to develop collaborations and alliances with science."

North Queensland's Innovation and Technology Week is co-ordinated by the
State Development and Innovation Centre Townsville together with
Townsville Enterprise. It provides scope to raise awareness of
initiatives across the region, helps the development of technology-based
and innovative companies, and encourages careers in knowledge-based
industries and organisations.

Media contact: Jason Steinberg (07) 3235 4346 

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